The Zero Waste Movement & Elitism

The zero waste movement is a grassroots movement that has been popularized over the last several years. It’s always been about reducing the amount of waste that we, as consumers, produce. It’s about evaluating your waste (plastic packaging on groceries, to-go coffee cups, one time use plasticware, food scraps, etc.) to see what you’re sending to landfill, then executing a plan of action for reducing and ultimately eliminating that waste.

King of the Trash Hill

I discovered the movement about three years ago after stumbling across a Ted Talk by Lauren Singer in which she talks about her zero waste lifestyle. After watching her speak, I was inspired and ready to learn more. After hours of research, I was ready to head out to buy a brand new stainless steel water bottle, all new glass food containers, some snazzy tote bags, beeswax wraps… you get the idea.

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The beauty of popular zero-wasters’ minimalist photos of stainless steel tiffins and sparkly clean mason jars filled with fresh cut greens and flowers are very enticing. However, nearly all zero waste Youtubers and bloggers explicitly say that they don’t condone going out to buy shiny new things to begin one’s own waste-reducing journey. This is important! It’s easy to feel like the things you already have on-hand aren’t good enough, pretty enough, or photo-worthy. I’ve seen and felt many people in the community express feelings of inadequacy when comparing themselves with the faces of this movement- but it doesn’t have to be that way!

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This is a space where you can learn about sustainable alternatives, share your story, and ask questions without having to impress anyone with your aesthetic. I look forward to sharing my journey with you all, as well as learning about yours.